Rishi Sunak at helm; the UK prays for miracles

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, October 25: After responding in an affirmative to the question of the British King Charles III if he could form the government, Rishi Sunak, 42, became Prime Minister of the UK amid dire economic situations. The UK is clearly the first European country to be thrown into a political turmoil following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Indian community in the UK is jubilant that Sunak takes the high office in London at a time when the middle class in the sixth largest economy of the world suddenly realized that inflation could make their lives miserable. Europe for several decades has enjoyed the fruits of an extremely low inflation, helping their economies to gain from cheap credit. Sunak has an enormous task on the hand to fix the economy of the UK, while the capital market would not be patient to his ideas.

Sunak has said that he will be guided by integrity, accountability and professionalism, while showing compassion. He has said that his government will review the energy policy to help the most vulnerable first. Sunak in his address at the 10, Downing Street said that he would take tough decisions. He underlined that the Covid-19 effects are still lingering on, while “Putin’s war in Ukraine has destabilized the energy market”.

Sunak comes to the office after his predecessor Liz Truss’ prescription to put life in the ebbing economy with tax cuts and enhanced unaccounted public expenditure went haywire. Many economists explain that the UK is in the midst of stagflation – low growth and high inflation. The UK also has a record low level of unemployment along with a very high vacancies. “I will unite our country, not with words but actions,” said Sunak.

Political commentators in the UK are hoping that unlike Truss Sunak would bring in new talents in the government to fix the challenges faced by the country. They opined that Truss had packed her Cabinet with loyalists who failed to bring the fresh ideas on the table to deal with the situations, while rushing with steps which were not backed.

Richard Murphy, an economist, argued that the UK is faced with a rising cost of living which is not being addressed by the inflation policy of the government. “Millions of British people face poverty and even financial destitution as a result,” said Murphy, while underlining that there are crises of stressed public health system, housing and so on.

Inflation isn’t just the problem of the UK, for it has taken a monstrous proportion in neighbouring France as well. The prospects of a harsh Winter in Europe are looming, as the people on the street are swearing at their governments for the energy crisis.

Sunak may manage to unite the faction-ridden political space in the UK, as frequent change of Prime Ministers has fast dawned the fear that the country is lapsing into serious crisis, which may have serious consequences in times to come.

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